Mercury in Canned Tuna

In my update from Natural Food Merchandiser today, they highlighted their article titled “Canned tuna exceeds EPA’s safety levels for mercury.”  The information in the articles comes from testing done by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2006.  Nevertheless, it is interesting.  Read the full article at this LINK.  Here is an excerpt: 

More than half of canned tuna samples from three national brands exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s safety level for human consumption, according to a new study published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Only 5 percent of the tuna studied contained more mercury than what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers safe.

A few things I noticed when I looked into the source a little further…

  1. The EPA guidelines for safe levels of mercury in human food is much lower than the levels set by the FDA.  Who to believe?
  2. While they note that one brand is worse than the other two, they don’t reveal the brand names.  Bummer!
  3. They noticed difference in mercury levels in different “types” of tuna.  Seems that “chunk light” was slightly less contaminated than “solid white” or “chunk white.”  Strange.

The conclusions drawn in the article and the study are that there is a need for a long-term monitoring program to ensure the safety of the tuna we consume.  I certainly agree with that!!  So what’s a body to do?

Of course, the answer to that depends on your situation and intention.  For children and pregnant women, the risks appear to be more dramatic.  It might be advisable to avoid tuna altogether.  Other adults might want to use it in moderation.  But there is an option for purchasing much safer tuna, but of course the cost is three to five times more than mainstream brands.  If you are like me, you will want to pay the extra price to be mercury free.

American Tuna LogoThe best mercury-free tuna I have found so far is American Tuna, a group of six fishing families in San Diego, California.  The 6 oz. cans run about $5 on their website market.  I would expect similar prices at the Whole Foods Market locations and other retailers on their list

Best regards to all of you.  Be safe, be healthy. [tweetmeme source=gsorganics only_single=false]

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Filed under Green News Items, Nutrition, Toxins in Food

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